Just like music, movies, and every other type of content, thousands of paintings are being made daily all around the world but irrespective of the number of paintings being churned out daily, some paintings stand out from the crowd.
These ones have stood the test of time are being recognized all around the world as classics and people travel from various parts of the world to come and see them in the museum where they are being preserved and displayed.
The article below shows ten most famous paintings in the world, the museum where they can be seen, the artists who painted them, and for how long they have existed.
(1) Mona Lisa
The most famous painting in the world is the painting of the mysterious woman ‘Mona Lisa’. The masterpiece was painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1503 and 1506 and was a painting of the model Lisa del Giocondo, a member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany, and wife of Francesco del Giocondo.
It holds a Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962.
The painting became a property of France after it was acquired by King Francis I of France and it is on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris since 1797. On the 21st of August 1911, the painting was stolen from the Louvre Museum by the Museum’s employee, Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian who is of the opinion that the painting should have been returned to an Italian museum. He was caught two years later when he attempted to sell the painting director of the Uffizi Gallery, Giovanni Poggi.
(2) The Last Supper
The second most-famous painting in the world is ‘The Last Supper’, painted between 1495 and 1498 by Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian polymath of the Renaissance, the same man who painted ‘Mona Lisa’, world most famous painting.
The painting shows the disciples’ reaction when Jesus told them that one of them will betray him at the last supper, where Jesus broke bread with his disciples for the last time before he was crucified. The painting is currently on display at the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy where visitors are required to book ahead and are allowed to spend a maximum of 15 minutes viewing the painting.
(3) The Starry Night
The Starry Night was painted by Vincent van Gogh in 1889 during his stay at the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole after he had suffered a mental breakdown in 1888 and removed his own ear. The oil on canvas painting portrays the city of Saint-Remy under the swirling sun.
The Starry Night painting is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and was the inspiration for the song “Vincent” by Don McLean.
(4) The Scream
Norwegian Expressionist artist, Edvard Munch made the painting in 1931 and it is on display in the National Gallery, Oslo, Norway. The painting was inspired by a real-life experience Edward Munch had while taking in a sunset stroll in Oslo when a dramatic red hue overwhelmed his senses.
The painting has been stolen twice, in 1994 and in 2004. On the 12th of February, 1994, the National Gallery, Oslo was broken into by two men who made away with the painting and left a note which reads ‘Thanks for the poor security’ but it was recovered on the 7th of May 1994 in good condition. On the 22nd of August 2004, the painting was stolen again from the Munch Museum in Oslo by armed men. The painting was recovered by the Norwegian police on the 31st of August, 2006.
(5) Girl With a Pearl Earring
The oil on canvas painting was made by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer in 1665. The painting isn’t a portrait but rather a tronie (a Dutch genre for painting that shows an exaggerated facial expression or a stock character in costume). The painting is housed in Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands.
During the renovation of the museum in 2012, the painting was on tour to the United States, Japan, and Italy which boosted its popularity. It was exhibited in 2012 at the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Japan, and in 2013-2014 in the U.S, in Atlanta at the High Museum, in San Francisco at the de Young Museum, and in New York City at the Frick Collection. Lastly, it was exhibited in Bologna, Italy before the painting was returned to the Mauritshuis museum.
The anti-war painting portrays the bombing of Spain’s city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The oil on canvas painting was made by Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso and it is widely referred to as the most powerful anti-war paintings in history as it entails the horror of war and reflects the destructive power of civil war.
The painting was made in 1937 and it is the most recent/newest painting on the list of ten most famous paintings in the world.
The painting is on display in Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.
(7) The Birth Of Venus
The painting portrays the goddess Venus arriving at the shore after her birth when she had emerged from the sea fully-grown.
It was made by Italian artist, Sandro Botticelli in the mid-1480s. It is the oldest world’s most famous painting and it is currently on display in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
(8) The Kiss
The painting symbolizes intimacy and portrays a couple embracing each other, their bodies entwined in elaborate beautiful robes decorated in a style influenced by the contemporary Art Nouveau style.
The Oil on Canvas masterpiece was made by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt between 1907 to 1908. The painting is housed in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere, Vienna.
(9) Creation of Adam
The painting was made by Italian artist Michelangelo between 1508 to 1512. The painting portrays God and Adam with outstretched arms, their fingers nearly touching.
The painting is one of the most replicated religious paintings of all time and it forms part of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling.
(10) The Night Watch
The last on the list of ten most famous paintings in the world is the Rembrandt van Rijn painting ‘The Night Watch‘ also known as ‘The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch‘.
The painting was made in 1642 and depicts a city guard moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq, his lieutenant and the rest of the guard’s armed men. The painting is on display in the Rijksmuseum.
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